FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – A Richmond man was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison on Thursday.

Scotty Dale Johnson, 51, was arrested after he created a Snapchat account and pretended to be a teenage female with the intent of communicating with teenage boys. Johnson would friend teenage boys, some he knew in real life and some he met online, and engaged in sexual conversation with the boys.

One teenage boy, who Johnson knew, was coerced into sending sexually explicit images of himself on Snapchat to someone he believed was a teenage girl. Eventually, the boy became suspicious that the account wasn’t legitimate and reported it to law enforcement.

A warrant for the Snapchat account was obtained and Johnson was found to be corresponding with over 1,000 different individuals. Johnson admitted to coercing and attempting to coerce at least eight other minors to send sexually explicit images.

Johnson pleaded guilty in March 2021.

“This disgraceful conduct involved both predatory deception and sexual exploitation of a minor,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Sadly, this case serves as a stark reminder of the serious risks minors face when online. That means we must all be diligent in protecting them and demonstrating safe online activity. Due to the work of our enforcement partners, fortunately, this case can also serve as a warning to those who engage in this conduct: the consequences will likely be a significant prison sentence.”           

“This case demonstrates the grave dangers that children face online, where predators can pretend to be anyone in order to target the most vulnerable among us,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen, FBI Louisville.  “With this sentencing, we have removed a dangerous child predator from our community, and a clear message has been sent that those who seek to exploit children will be held accountable.”

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